Saturday evening I went to Mass by myself. We're doing pre-registration for VBS after each Mass and we didn't have anyone to cover on Saturday, so I went. Ordinarily, my husband and kids would have gone and we would have made that our weekly Mass. But we had plans with my mom for Sunday, which included her coming to Mass with us in the morning. So, off I went on my own.
There were nice things about being at Mass by myself. There were no distractions. I heard each of the readings and was able to sit quietly and absorb the homily. After receiving Communion, I was able to take my place and pray without anyone trying to climb on me, spilling their crayons or attempting to run away. I enjoyed the peace and quiet.
But I really enjoy going to Mass with my little family. There is such a unity in being there together. There was a time, not so long ago, when I probably wouldn't have believed we'd be there, in that church, together. My husband was very skeptical of Catholicism for a long time and I wondered if we'd ever come together and find common ground. And yet, here we are, a little family of five, all Catholic, loving God together and loving our church.
Before we got married, the priest who married us drew a little diagram. I suspect it's common in pre-marital counseling, and if it isn't, it should be. He drew a triangle, with labels and the corners. The bottom two corners were labeled "husband," and "wife". The top was labeled, "God." He explained, the closer each of the partners get to God, the closer they come to each other. I can still remember his finger tracing the lines of the triangle.
Although that statement felt true at the time, it rings all the truer as the years go by and my husband and I have both deepened our faith in God. We've grown closer to God, together. And in so doing, we've grown closer to each other.
Attending Mass with small children may not always be easy. But I still love it. I love being there together, as a whole, unified family. I love seeing people I know and getting to know new ones. I love being a part of such a great community. And I love that we're in it together.